Chelsea needed three point tonight to continue to have any hope of catching Manchester United this season, and looked like they'd get those point comfortably for most of the first half. They'd generally dominate possession, and excellent strikes from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard would see them comfortably ahead 2-0 at halftime.
Southampton would claw one back within the first 15 minutes of the second half, as Ricky Lambert came on and immediately headed a ball into the back of the net. Jason Puncheon would level it shortly after, before Rafa Benitez made any changes to help relieve the pressure.
When change (singular) did come, it was the removal of Frank Lampard for fan-favorite Fernando Torres. Southampton seemed satisfied to sit back and hang on for a point, and did just that. The game in hand has now been played, and Chelsea have dropped more points to a bottom half team at home. With that in mind, here's a few thoughts while I go punch something:
- I was actually a bit surprised to see Demba Ba start this game. Benitez has sounded as if he intends to keep Ba to one start a week, and I'd have expected that start to come against Arsenal as opposed to Southampton. What he chooses to do on the weekend will be telling.
- It might be time to stop trying to pass teams to death all the time. While that killer pass is awfully nice to watch, the players we have up front should be able to just run by their defenders to put pressure on the defense.
- The New York Knicks were in attendance at this one ahead of their game with the Detroit Pistons in London. I'll be interested to hear some of their comments on the experience later on.
- Southampton have a pair of really solid young fullbacks. If they end up going down, there's going to be quite a few Premier League vultures circling.
- Congratulations to the little Blues, who managed an extra time win to advance in the FA Youth Cup. They went down 2-0, but goals from Andres Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Connor Hunte will see the young Blues advance.